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When your upline presented you with the opportunity to join your direct sales company, it probably seemed as easy as pie. You might even still have the little napkin drawing she gave you that showed just how simple it would be to have all the ranks of people underneath you. How easy it would be to make all kinds of money because these products “practically sell themselves”. Sound familiar?

If you’ve been in direct sales for a while, maybe you’ve even recruited using similar strategies. After all, it’s pretty much how the whole industry is built. I mean, let’s be honest, telling someone you have this opportunity for them to make money, but they’re going to have to work really, really freakin’ hard sometimes, just doesn’t have the same ring to it. Would you have joined if someone told you how hard it was actually going to be?

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People want easy, so we sell them easy, even if it’s not really true.

But it’s not easy at all, is it? Some days it’s so freakin’ hard, you have no idea why you ever thought it was a good idea to join. Some days you spend more than you make. Some days you have less time with your kids, not more. Some days you see other people climbing the ranks and hitting the recognition boards and it all but crushes you.

Then once in a while something goes well, and you make a sale, or you land a new recruit, or you hit your bonus pay, or you make a new rank, and all of a sudden that little spark is ignited again and you feel like maybe it is worth it.

Worth it until you’re back in the spiral of the business that is direct sales. Back to a month with no sales, no recruits, canceled parties, the whole nine yards. The expectation and the reality don’t mesh and it leaves you defeated, disappointed, and maybe even broke.

But there are people who succeed. There are people in your company who are crushing it. Why are they doing so well? More importantly, why can’t you do it too?

A Direct Sales Business is Not Glamorous

A direct sales or network marketing business is a phenomenal opportunity for anyone who is interested in being a business owner. It’s an excellent starting point because the cost of entry is low (some kits are even free), and you’re given a lot of what you need to get off the ground. 

You’re given all the marketing material you need. You never have to worry about production or distribution. Your website is set up and ready to go. Your company has already established its brand. You’re given all the things that mean you don’t have to start from scratch and you don’t need a big (or any) investment.

But there’s one problem. Nobody talks about what it’s really like to build your own business. Nobody talks about the time and energy and sweat and tears that go into building a hugely successful and profitable business. 

The reality is not even a little bit glamorous. So we hide the truth from our prospects and recruits. We make it sound easy instead of giving them a realistic idea of what the business opportunity really is. The opportunity to have a business.

And because we don’t share the truth, we set our recruits up for failure instead of success because we do to them what our upline did to us. We start them off with unrealistic expectations. We tell them to expect great success with little to no work. And when they do nothing and have an unmet expectation we leave them feeling like they got played or like they are not good enough to make it work. We set them up to fail. Exactly the same way as we were set up to fail.

It’s not always even on purpose. We don’t set out to mislead people for our own selfish gain. We simply take the information we were given and pass it along. We take the training (or lack thereof) from our company and try to put it to good use. It seems to work for others, so it should work for us too.

How could they feel good enough? We told them it would be easy and it’s not easy at all. Do you feel good enough – like you’re doing as well as your upline promised?

What About the Money?

Now here’s the thing. Can you make money in network marketing? Absolutely! Can you make a great income with network marketing? Yes! But it will not be easy. And there are some people who are making a lot of money, but they are not the majority. Not even close.

The direct sales business opportunity truly is an opportunity. You know it’s true, because if it wasn’t you wouldn’t still be involved with your company. You must see some amount of promise in it. 

It’s a great opportunity for someone who actually wants to run a business. It’s not a great opportunity for someone who wants to make a lot of money without doing anything. It’s a great opportunity for someone who wants to learn and utilize strategies that make it easier, but they don’t expect it to be easy.

Imagine if your upline said to you, I have an opportunity to share, and if you’re willing to put in some effort, you’ll find that you can earn a great side-hustle income. Would you have jumped in as quickly? Maybe not. But if you have the drive and desire to have your own business, then you probably still would have joined. 

What would have been different is that you would have come in with the understanding that you would have to work for it. You wouldn’t have felt like there was something wrong with you because it “so easy” for everyone else, but not for you. The reality is, it’s not easy for them. They’re working hard for it too! 

What Do I Do?

The obvious question becomes: How do I turn things around so I can start making a consistent income?

First and foremost, you must decide if this opportunity is right for you. Do you even want to run your own business? Now that you know that it actually isn’t easy at all, are you willing to put in the effort and do the work?

Assuming you do want to stick it out, (because you probably would have quit reading if you didn’t) you’re going to need to change how you think about it. It’s time to start looking at your business like exactly that, a business.

3 Things to do Differently Starting Today!

Keep the Spam in the Can

You wouldn’t start a business from the ground up with spammy tactics, so don’t do it with this business either. It’s time to focus on building relationships with people who are interested in your products.

No more spammy ‘hey hun’ messages. No more icky parties where all you do is push products. No more telling your future recruits that this business is easy, breezy, money in your pocket.

It doesn’t help you and it certainly doesn’t help them. And wouldn’t you rather have a small team of hard-working, dedicated boss babes who are crushing their business than an endless stream of inactive recruits?

If you were hiring a sales consultant for your ground-up business, who would you want on your team? How would you recruit them? What criteria would you use in determining if someone was a good fit. Do the same for your direct sales business.

direct sales
direct sales

Consistency, Consistency, Consistency

Be consistent. Show up for your business like it’s your business, not some hobby you pick up now and then. Since we’re all about transparency here, you should know that being consistent is hard, sometimes really hard, especially when you feel like your progress and results don’t equal the effort you’re putting in. 

With consistency, the effort will pay off and you’ll start to see your sales and customers growing. Typically this process starts slow and gains momentum, so don’t quit before you reap the benefits of your hard work. 

Run Fun Parties

Parties are money. Correction, good parties are money.

Are your parties struggling? Do you have trouble finding hosts? Or maybe the hosts you do find won’t engage or participate? 

If your parties are a bust, it’s probably because they’re boring. Nobody wants to be a guest at a party where all you do is show them every product in your catalog. People tune out and Facebook’s algorithm punishes you for that.

Running GOOD parties is a completely different ball game. Good parties focus on engagement first, sales second. If you want your parties to do well you have to get people engaging before you’re going to get them purchasing.

direct sales
direct sales

Good parties need to focus on fun! Theme parties are the most fun, and the easiest parties to run. They help you and your guests find a common interest (the theme) so they’re more likely to participate. Facebook’s algorithm rewards you when your guests participate by showing your content to more people. More people = more sales.

Aim to run a mystery hostess party with a new theme each month. It keeps things fresh and entertaining for your party guests and it allows you to highlight a particular group of products or product category each month, rather than overwhelming your guests with your entire catalog in one push. Small, consistent exposure is the game plan here. 

Doing it this way not only keeps your people engaging with you on a regular basis, but it also demonstrates that your parties are different than most online parties out there. Your parties are fun. It shows your guests that it’s a great idea to be your next hostess because they can earn all kinds of free products and they won’t be subjecting their friends to a spam-a-thon. 

Good parties get good hostesses. Good hostesses mean bank!

direct sales
direct sales

Network marketing is hard. If you thought it would be easy and it hasn’t been, it’s not just you. The good news is that your upline was right about one thing – you are completely capable of having a profitable direct sales business. You were just misled when it comes to how simple it would be. 

Don’t give up – you’re not a quitter. Instead, commit to treating your business like it’s a business. Commit to being consistent, commit to never taking the spammy route, and commit to focusing on fun parties. 

It’s not going to be easy, but it will put you on a path towards success. The freedom and flexibility you signed up for is possible. You’re just going to have to put in some effort to get it.

direct sales
direct sales

So tell us, has growing your direct sales business been as easy as your upline promised it would be?  What has been your biggest struggle?


Your first Done-For-You Virtual Party Script Package is on the house! Tell us where to send it:

Your first Done-For-You Virtual Party Script Package is on the house! Tell us where to send it:

5 thoughts on “What Nobody Tells You About Direct Sales

  1. Emily says:

    Thank you for this! I am a hard worker but was starting to wonder what I signed up for … and my upline didn’t say it would be easy. I just didn’t realize how much work it is … I’m still having fun so I’m going to keep pushing.

    • cassidylamarsh says:

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Emily! It’s awesome that you’re having fun because that makes it so much easier to push through the tough stuff. Keep up the great work! And kudos to your upline for being real with you.

  2. Crystal McMillan says:

    It was not as easy as my upline indicated. The Bain of my existence was all the system and internet glitches that no one including corporate or the tech staff had any idea how to fix. I ended up spending hours figuring out how to repair the system glitches and have since passed that on to my upline and others who have had the same problems. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to succeed against odds like that , especially when all you hear is “I’ve never seen that before “. Thankfully I am passed all of that and slowly progressing.

  3. Sortoria Miller says:

    This article was sooo good!! I am Blessed that my up line didn’t lie & say it would be easy! My NuSkin business is exactly what I make it but people have been lied to so much that they don’t trust anyone.

  4. Laurie A. Hancock says:

    This was THE BEST article on direct sales I’ve ever read and I’ve been in the industry since 2012! Thank you for this, I’m sharing with everyone I know. It also helped me decide to purchase your party scripts service; your service has to awesome because you get it and completely understand what were going through!

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